mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (Default)
Managed to get Wordpress upgraded to 2.5 on my server. Is much cleaner and functional than earlier version.

However, this was not assisted by Ubuntu 8.04. It seems in this release they've broken the Samba client software that used to work fine in earlier releases. Investigation shows it's actually a problem with Gnome shifting to gvfs. Dick-heads. Ubuntu is supposed to keep working and get better, not break previously working parts of itself!

In the end managed to mount the share I needed to access the server manually, but then every time it created a directory, it created it with the wrong permissions, so I had to use a shell on the server to chmod stuff. Made copying directory structures across difficult.

Once I finally had it installed, I was pleased with the WordPress upgrade, a definite cleanliness and usability improvement. But I couldn't get picture upload and gallery creation to work, even though the instructions said it should work simply, it just failed. Spent hours checking i was doing it right, and that the installation had been completed, worried because of previous directory permission issues I might have failed to copy something important. Finally traced the Firefox error log, it has a problem with XUL file permissions somewhere. Reboot into Windows, the interface works fine. Another Ubuntu problem (as same browser, only OS is different). Possibly fixable somewhere, but shouldn't be necessary to fix something just to select files for upload from a browser from a directory my current user has access permissions for.

Am annoyed now, because for a while it looked like I could dump Windows for everything except the occasional game play, because they'd fixed all the old show-stoppers, but now, until gvfs is fixed it's not feasible. The fact that there's still no fix for a major flaw like this, which should have been enough, IMO, to prevent the release of 8.04 until it was fixed, points out the main problems with OS OS's. No real quality control, and no ability to pressure them into applying any.
mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (M.U.N.D.E.N.S)
The following is very kewl. John Resig last month released processing.js, a Javascript implementation of the Processing language, an open source programming language for people who basically want to do what Macromedia Flash (and similar products) do without needing proprietary software tools.

John's code only works properly in Firefox 3, basically works in the latest I.E and Opera, and sort-of works partially in earlier versions of those browsers, primarily because only Firefox 3 really supports the new HTML5 Canvas API. It also kills your machine if you do anything complicated! But it does point the way forward for non-plug-in based graphics and such like without licensing fees.

Have a look at some of the demos! (but only if you're running a modern browser!)

And if you want to play with the language, try obsessing, which provides you an environment to programme graphics within the browser, and is now running on processing.js!
mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (Default)
Cracked are once again amusing me with lists (yes, I know, I am easily amused) , this time with The 9 Most Obnoxious Memes To Ever Escape From The Internet. An excerpt that really tickled me was :
It charted in Europe and follow ups were released. By March 2008, the Crazy Frog had three complete albums, all of which serve as proof that music can be weaponized effectively.
...
Worse yet, a German production company called The League of Good People have made a sad mockery of their name by entering into talks with a production company to create a Crazy Frog TV show. A film is rumoured to be in the works, and is likely.

Unless, of course, it turns out that there is a just God.
I actually liked the Axel Foley theme once.

So I succumbed to temptation and bought the BattleStar Galactica set. I agree, [livejournal.com profile] drowninghail, that after season four is finished, they'll release a full set, but it turns out that this box is merely the three season sets and the original mini series release, complete with all original packaging, put inside another enclosing box, and sold for a price that makes one season and the mini series effectively free. Even more amusing is that Whitcoulls are still selling the individual season's boxes next to the full set for $50! If they do a special collector's set at some point after the fourth season comes out, I may go there. Or I may not.

At lunch time I met up with an ex-IBM colleague from HP, to speak about a web site I'm helping him with, but talk turned to the merger and HP's Linux systems teams which he is involved with. This might get interesting. He also gave me a promotional HP / Red Hat USB vacuum cleaner! The mail this morning also delivered a key-ring laser pointer/LED flashlight. Right now I'm loading the Ultimate Boot CD onto my keyring 4Gb USB flashdrive following these instructions. Which makes today an officially geeky gadgety Friday!

Finally, have a look at this
mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (M.U.N.D.E.N.S)
Estimates are boring and inherently a waste of time. One day they'll realise, if they let us just go ahead and do it, it will always take about five or six weeks, regardless of what it is.

My phone was feeling humorous this morning, after starting off with Shakespeare's Sister and Stay, it followed up with Steve Conte's Wolfs Rain theme-song, Stray.

Quite a nice contrast in both titles and lyrics from the Sister's possessively switch nature :
I'll go anywhere with you
Just wrap me up in chains
...
You must only think of me
There can be no in between
When your pride is on the floor
I'll make you beg for more




to Tim Jenson's BALOR* lyrics of
In the white freeze, I never spoke of tears
Or opened up to anyone including myself
I would like to find a way to open to you
Been awhile, don't know if I remember how to
I'm here waiting on the edge
Would I be alright showing myself to you?
It's always been so hard to do..
I'm quite enjoying listening to music on headphones, you hear a lot more of the lyrics that way. Stray used to compete poorly in my mind with Gravity the Wolfs Rain closing theme, but now I actually prefer the Stray lyrics, as parts are quite descriptive of my nature.

In more serious news, I'll be reserving judgement until it is actually visible, later "tonight" US time, but it looks like Google FriendConnect could be something that kills the insular sites of MySpace, LJ, and Facebook. On the other hand, if Google act like LJ, and attempt to, or are forced to, censor content, then balkanization will continue to be encouraged because of those of us who don't like to be told what words we're allowed to use.

Passing on from [livejournal.com profile] elfs : the Brownie recipe from The Black Oven ( a bakery website by a dark metallist) for people like [livejournal.com profile] exiledinpn & [livejournal.com profile] evie_fae to compare to their recipes. Some of the other recipes look like fun too. The brownie from She looked interesting, will have to test when I get another chance.

This debunking of the 6 Most Frequently Quoted Bullshit Statistics is hilariously ironic. (a hint, how did they determine these were the six most frequently quoted?. Personally, my most frequently quoted bullshit statistic is : "According to a 1960's Masters & Johnson study, 86% of men admit to being wankers, and the other 14% are liars."

Finally, I like this idea : solar collectors designed as lilly pads.

Oh, and as an after thought, look at some cool typography ideas. I think Dive Deep and Scarlett are cool for different reasons.

*(For those not in on local slang, BALOR : Bad-Ass Loner living by their Own Rules )

Musitech

Nov. 24th, 2007 11:54 pm
mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (Murdoc)
Well thanks to Stephen Fry's blog I've finally seen a music player that makes sense, the Eco Media Player EMP-MX71. It doesn't have everything, but it does have a video player, fm radio, led torch, phone charger, photo viewer, ebook viewer, hi-fi recorder (to mp3 from line or mic input).

But most of all, it has a Bayliss crank which means you can manually power it, and that means the phone charger, LED torch, and radio options become so much more usable! Also it's rubberized for protection.

It's not big enough yet, I want one with at least 250Gb storage, but when it gets there, or further, with the new terabyte flash drives, whether using nano-tech copper or bug proteins, this is the one for me!

I'm tempted to get one anyway. It takes SD cards and it's pretty likely the new memory will become available in an SD card format. The price of £160 is a bit high though. Maybe I'll see what the price is like after Christmas.

Kewl!

Mar. 5th, 2007 02:22 pm
mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (M.U.N.D.E.N.S)
Just found on Digg : a 3D rotating menu.

Of course I couldn't recommend something like this from a usability stand-point, but it is very cool, and some of the tools underneath the menu also look cool, especially if you're into DJing!
mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (M.U.N.D.E.N.S)
Digg pointed me at these pictures of Tesla coil sparks on Tesla Downunder. An example :

And the TNC list pointed me at this open source version of Guitar Hero, Frets on Fire :
"You can exchange tracks with other users (via FretsOnFire.net, KeyboardsOnFire, or FOFSpain), import tracks from a Playstation Guitar Hero DVD, or use the built-i nsong editor, with which you can turn any Ogg Vorbis track into a game level."
A colleague pointed out World Wind, which, combined with Rapid_Fire_MODIS, can deliver :
"near real time images from orbiting satellites with resolution down to 250m. You can filter the MODIS data by date and by event. Data is then downloaded and displays an icon in World Wind showing what event it is and where it happened. You can zoom in to view the event.
Near-real time, open source global satellite surveillance free to everyone with broadband and a PC!

Oh, and White Island's been quite twitchy recently!

Geekery concluded for now, maybe a life update after shopping!
mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (ChiCake)
Passing on this from [livejournal.com profile] seraphs_folly for those on my FList who don't read her :

Chobits in the pipeline?

Or, via [livejournal.com profile] svendelmaus, will genetics outdo cybernetics in the pet department ?

The future of human relationships? Which way would you choose to go? Or yu gonna be old skool and interact with actual humans? Eww, gross! All that meat and juice!

I find the idea of my computer interface being something similar to another human intriguing. And not just for the obvious either.

I remember when the talk of software agents was hot, the idea of a personalized service selecting feeds it would know you were interested in with a bit of a random factor of course. Software agent given hardware form.

Would I really want one that looked like a girl? I'd be so tempted to have one that was huge, wore sunglasses, and a dark suit, and acted like a Secret Service bodyguard. So much more useful in so many ways than one shaped like a 14-year old girl! Either would cost an extra train fare in the morning, though.

Next step... Ghost in the Shell. Is it wrong of me to want try a Shirow-designed Kusanagi shell when they start rolling off the assembly line? Limited Edition model, signed by the designer, hacked to over-ride the standard health department-mandated pain limiters, of course.

Release the new Moby single, an update on his previous Bodyrockin', called Bodyhackin'.

Lets interface, babe, you wanna open up your firewall, and go full duplex on all ports?

Point of Fashion: Black. Black Pirate Shirt At work. Heh heh heh!
mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (Forever)
[livejournal.com profile] meesto has already posted a link to a French site with a video of the Philips Lumalive shirt, but here's the Philips press release, for the English speakers

BTW, Wargames Supplies has a copy of Dream Pod 9's hardback GearKrieg for about $26 on their sale table if anyone is interested.

I woke up this morning with Alan Parson's What Goes Up
How can you be so sure?
How can you know that the earth will endure?
How can you be so sure
That the wonders you've made n your life will be seen
by the millions who come to visit the site of your dream?
Made me think, as I'm sure it's supposed to, of the hubris involved in creating a pyramid, in trying to make one's mark on the world last forever.

Puts my worries about all my stuff in perspective. Was getting a better handle of the size of the problem last night. Have resolved to try divestiture. But it's hard to let things go,,,.

Told ya so!

Sep. 6th, 2006 10:33 am
mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (Tyler)
Via /., It seems one can crack a Diebold voting machine in 4 minutes with an expenditure of $12), even if you're untrained and over 50.

And from El Reg, a US Marine unearths nukes, cocaine and $25m!
mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (Default)
Ooo! Ian McShane in the movie of Coraline OK so most people on my flist already read Gaiman's blog, but I just had to comment on it, given McShane's stirling work in Deadwood. And they've got French and Saunders.

Great little article was pointed out in TNC email, all about how Google Earth is actually becoming useful to science. It's pretty damn amazing to me that one new company can take a jaded Internet and add so much extra value in the face of all the entrenched powers.

I suppose Google could become SkyNet, though I'm a damn sight happier with a company like Google with a motto of "Do no evil" doing this, than Microsoft or even IBM doing it. But if Google are ever "nationalized"....
mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (M.U.N.D.E.N.S)
A good article on why CORBA has failed from Michi Henning.

Damn shame that. One day, they'lll need to come up with something like CORBA again, but manage it properly. Maybe JINI will be the way? Who knows? But David Gelernter's tuple-space will be implemented somehow. It's just too damn useful not to be.

IBM SiGe chip hits 500Ghz at 4.5 Kelvin
mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (Default)
So this post on [livejournal.com profile] mathsex was linked to on another community I belong to, and I thought some of my flist might enjoy it!

I can see this leading to a role-playing game...

In unrelated news, Happy Birthday [livejournal.com profile] bekitty!!

Bye-ology

May. 23rd, 2006 11:54 am
mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (M.U.N.D.E.N.S)
This is fun, from El Reg, an IM worm that replaces your browser!

And does it bother anyone else that Microsoft is involved in the Synthetic Biology 2.0 conference ?

Seeing as synthetic biologists have succeeded back in 2002 in building a functioning polio virus from raw materials, maybe Microsoft have take too seriously the title awarded to them of "Borg" ? I can see it now

Microsoft Windows Bi-OS 2023 - How would you like to be infected today?

Details on AT&T / NSA illegal wiretap activity from Wired.

Doh!

Mar. 24th, 2006 11:24 pm
mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (M.U.N.D.E.N.S)
I:ve been having issues with my NetGear Media player connecting to my wireless network from down the other end of the house. Over a moth ago I researched ways of boosting connectivity using chinese cookware.

This evening, after fixing the named virtual hosts on my Apache server, I discovered what was causing the problem.

You see, I have a pair of Kef 104 Bs in home made speaker enclosures, complete with bass reflex cones. This makes them large heavy boxes. Perfect for storing my two mild steel helms on. They display nicely in the lounge that way.

I'm sure you see where this is leading. Metal, especially concave metal is great for concentrating radio waves. But the helmets are not where the media player is and they are effectively leaching all the signal. Merely moving the helmets to the other side of the room (putting them on the bookcase) solves the problem I've been mucking around with on-and-off for months!

They're not so well displayed there, but now reception in the main area of the lounge is much better and the media player connects to the server quickly and simply! Doh! How frickin' obvious! Why did I only think of it tonight? My brain must have got some extra oxygen or something.

I also downloaded the trial version of the TwonkyVision music server for Linux. Talk about simple, Trev! I was up and serving music off of the Linux server in no time. Much simpler and faster than installing it on Windows. And it built it's database a hell of a lot faster than on Windows too. Trial version only works for 30 minutes at a time, but it's pretty cheap, so I think I'll buy this one. I could then start up a rpg.net.nz radio station. If I could find someone to pay for the bandwidth that would chew.

So now in one fell swoop the digital music collection is playable easily through my stereo system in the lounge. I discovered the bass on "Knock a little harder" by Mai Yamane off of the Cowboy Bebop Future Blues OST is pretty dam impressive on a stereo system with good bass response. Ah, real sound again!
mundens: Pixie -like angel with fiery wings (Burning Angel)
Via /. :

Serenity is now in the black.

Larry Brilliant, probably best known to geeks as co-founder of the WELL, has been appointed to make Google.org, Google's charity arm, effective.

Via El Reg :

Callahan's allowed to use their name on Yahoo again!

Japanese Light in the heavens!
mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (M.U.N.D.E.N.S)
I just gotta pass this on for anyone on my flist who doesn't watch [livejournal.com profile] alexi_z's LJ :
http://legnangel.livejournal.com/564026.html

Are we thinking or role-playing game ideas that can use these pictures yet?

The rest of [livejournal.com profile] legnangel's LJ is interesting too, there is a very creepy baby in a picture at the bottom of the page and some of the other people in the picture look remarkably familiar too...

And from [livejournal.com profile] mangee, a link to Portable Apps. The whole idea is to have applications like Firefox, Thunderbird, GAIM, and Open Office run completely off a USB drive meaning that your applications as well as data are available anywhere you can plug a USB drive into a computer. A wonderful idea. With advances in flash ram making 1GB and higher flash drives available for under NZ$100, this seems like a great solution for people who don't want to carry around (or can't afford) a laptop, but want their apps and data available whenever they borrow someone's computer.

Hell, it even sounds like a good idea to me, that way, if my computer falls over I can continue with a borrowed replacement, and I don't have to even temporarily store potentially naughty chat files or LJ entries (y'all know what I mean!) on my work computer's hard drive.
mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (Default)
As mentioned earlier, I need to get better wifi reception so my Netgear MP101 media player can properly connect to the server. So I started looking for ways of boosting wifi strength on google and discovered that Kiwi hackers have already solved these sorts of problems!

Read the notes at the bottom, there's a link to a lovely story about this cheap design helping out a relief agency in Afghanistan, among other things.

Now to find me some chinese cookware....
mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (Tsume)
A weekend passed, one in which it seems Television New Zealand decided to hold an incredibly strange film festival of their own.

Friday night I got home to my newly accquired Gundams! Much Gundam love ensued. They're all recent Bandai high grade 1/144 model kits, Buster from Gundam Seed, Strike Freedom from Gundam Seed Destiny and Infinite Justice, also from Destiny. I'll post pics once I've made them.

Late Satyrday night I watched an odd film called Timecode. The screen was split into four parts and each part was showing a different story, some that seemed to be about making a movie, and others about a jealous lesbian, except where the characters involved in each story met up, in which case you got two views of the same scene from different directions. Very confusing. A perfect film for needing to watch again on DVD, so you concentrate on each part properly.

Sunday I spent time reinstalling Fedora Core 3 on my server and trying to get my network media player to work properly. Actually it works fine, it just has significant issues connecting to my wifi hub because my house is too big. I need to boost my wifi capability, or maybe try and reposition the hub to cover the house better. Or it;s interference and I should change to one of the other channels? Suggestions welcome, I'm not a wifi expert.

I've also configured my firewall to forward port requests on 80 to the Apache server on my newly-installed Fedora server. Connected to it fine from work this morning. More on that when it has content, I'll probably replicate the KapCon website and my own personal site first, and then start looking at making other things available to people. With 5Gb of free traffic on a cable modem, I should be able to set up all sorts of things!

In the afternoon I went to Norman's birthday BBQ. A good overlap of Phoenix people and (for want of a better description) KapCon people. Lots of good chat. People got drunk, sprayed each other with water and started getting dodgy and for a change, I didn't. Get drunk, that is. I doubt I can avoid being dodgy.

Instead I drunk "bug juice" all afternoon.

Went home early evening, because my Fedora installation was calling me! Must play with more Linux!

Realized I had forgotten to put sheets on the line. and that I'd left the photo CD Matt brought at Norman's. Damn!

Should have gone to bed but started watching a film starring Ewan McGregor, Eye of the Beholder. It was remarkable how compelling the film was, given it's oddness and the strangeness of the characters. Then at around 1.00 am on Monday morning they started playing Run Lola Run which I have always enjoyed, but as I've already seen that several times, I managed to tear myself away and finally go to bed.

I dreamed lewd dreams of friends and acquaintances which would probably get me in trouble if I detailed them. Suffice it to say that there was discipline involved and more than one of you lot.

Must get my hair done this week, KapCon is over, I no longer need to look quite so shaggy. [livejournal.com profile] seraphs_folly reckons I should get it dyed black, but I suspect that would be a pain what with the beard and all.

Oh, and welcome aboard [livejournal.com profile] drowninghail and [livejournal.com profile] lamprey, even though [livejournal.com profile] lamprey added me ages ago and I only just noticed!
mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (M.U.N.D.E.N.S)
So with fuck-all to do at work, the wind and the rain buffeting the building around so it shakes like an earthquake, and procrastinating around my KapCon game and being a bit iffy about editing a document like that in work time anyway, I decided to do something I enjoy, which is explore new technology.

I've previously mentioned Ruby, and now I'm examining Ruby on Rails, via the remarkably easy solution of Instant Rails. A 36Mb download and five minutes extracting and running the install script and following the very simple manual steps, and I have Apache, MySQL, Ruby, and two running Ruby applications installed. Cool.

I'm now running through the tutorial Rolling with Ruby on Rails]. Easy!

At this rate I'll have a Web 2.0 AJAX version of the KapCon web site setup in a couple of weeks, y'know, the all-singing all dancing one that will allow KapCon GM's to directly update their games, and LARP organizers to edit the LARP characters on line and assign them and send emails automatically, etc. Then I'll just have to figure out

In the meantime I suggest the when the KapCon Secret Masters recover from KapCon XV next week, they have a look at Ta Da Lists and possibly BackPack for future planning. If anyone else needs simple collaboratipn or sharable to-do lists they should also have a look.

It's great to be interested in new ways of doing things again!

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mundens: Picture of Brad Pitt playing Tyler  Durden from Fight Club. My Hero (Default)
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